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Sunni MP from disputed province urges Kurds to choose peace, stability

By Rudaw 8/9/2017
Abdulqahar al-Samaraei, MP from Saladin and head of Sunni Amal faction. Photo: Abdulqahar al-Samaraei/Twitter
Abdulqahar al-Samaraei, MP from Saladin and head of Sunni Amal faction. Photo: Abdulqahar al-Samaraei/Twitter
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The head of a Sunni faction in the Iraqi parliament and MP from Saladin province urged Kurds to choose peace and stability as they near the date of a historic vote on independence. The politician said his party would also consider sending monitors to observe the September 25 referendum. 

Abdulqahar al-Samaraei, head of the Sunni Amal faction in the Iraqi parliament, is an MP from Saladin province, which contains some areas claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad that will be participating in the referendum. 

He said his coalition will meet next week to discuss the referendum. “We will be taking opinions of our representatives and people in disputed areas, and then will be discussing them with Kurdish parties and our brothers in Kirkuk and our representatives in Khurmatu. We will also be meeting with other components in all areas and in the area of Diyala too. We will then be declaring our position publicly,” he said on Rudaw Radio’s The Journalist’s Dialogue programme on Friday. 

They will also discuss the possibility of sending observers to monitor the vote, especially in the Kurdistani or disputed areas, he added. 

The Sunni politician said he supports “all the rights of the Kurds within the framework of a united and strong (region). The Kurds should opt for something that protects the peace and stability of the region.”

Acknowledging the proximity of his province to Kurdistan, he urged respect between neighbours.

Samaraei’s conciliatory tone is not indicative of the prevailing mood in Baghdad, however. On Friday, government spokesperson Saad al-Hadithi reiterated what Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has repeatedly said – that the referendum is illegal.

“The steps taken for the independence which the Kurdistan Region wants to have are illegal and unconstitutional. This is the position of the Iraqi government, which supports the integrity of Iraq,” said Hadithi. 

He said Baghdad did not want to enter a dispute with Erbil, but stressed, “the Iraqi government will not commit to the outcome of this referendum.” 


Adam | 9/9/2017
We the kurds DO NOT take comments of a Saddam followers like you, we know your position before you open your mouth, its obvious you oppose the kurdish rights, we dont give a fly for what you think and stay away from our lands (so called disputed areas) or we cut any feets who steps in it.
FAUthman | 9/9/2017
Thank you for your offer Mr. Samaraei to consider sending monitors to the referendum, and don't worry this referendum will be very efficient and peaceful and will not destabilize any region or neighborhood. Mr. Abad's position is understandable: "we will not send tanks to impede the vote for independence we will simply not abide by the results". That is fine, that makes sense for a prime minister of Iraq and we hope you remain prime minister Mr Abadi and that you will at some point in the future negotiate with the Kurds the results of this referendum. Knowing your enlightened background some of us believe that you will!
Publish Me Fam | 9/9/2017
Interesting thing is that this referendum will unite Iraqi Shias and Sunnis even more against the Kurds, dangerous game is being played by Iraqi Kurds.
Jagerxin derashy | 9/9/2017
No one has asked Iraq government to respect referendum and never will we know what's answer! So why bother? Fuk all of you stop us if you can

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